View this email in your browser

COVID-19 Weekly Tourism Sector Update

May 21st, 2020


Tourism Prince Rupert is committed to supporting the resiliency & recovery of our local tourism industry. Learn more about the work of Tourism Prince Rupert by visiting our corporate website at the link below.
Visit the Tourism Prince Rupert Website
TPR COVID-19 Resource Page

Changes to CEBA Program Eligibility

The federal government announced changes this week to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) which gives small businesses interest-free loans of up to $40,000, of which 25% (up to $10,000) will be forgiven if the full sum is repaid by December 31, 2022

This announcement confirms that sole owner-operators, businesses relying on contracts, and those that are family owned and pay employees by dividends now qualify for the loan program.

Learn more about CEBA here

Rental Relief Program to Open This Week

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will be open for applications starting May 25 via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website. CECRA will provide forgivable loans to landlords that covers 50% of their tenants rent, with tenants covering 25% and landlords absorbing 25%.
The CMHM has provided a thorough overview on their website, as well as a link to the application portal. Learn more here

Canada - USA Border Closure Extended

Both Canada and the USA reached an agreement in March to temporarily close the border to non-essential travel — meaning no recreational visits — while keeping it open to commercial traffic and essential workers who cross for work.That agreement was extended in April by 30 days and it was set to expire this week.

The federal government has now announced that the Canada-USA border will remain closed to non-essential travel until June 21st.

Read more from the Canada Border Services Agency here.

Prince Rupert Small Business Sweepstakes!

The Small Business Sweepstakes is a program designed to get local shoppers out to visit and spend money in local shops. It will get people out to the stores when it is safe and provide the opportunity to win prizes. This promotion will encourage sales and give local businesses the opportunity for free marketing, by incentivizing customers with the chance to win gift cards to their favourite local businesses. In addition, businesses will receive immediate benefit through the program’s purchase of gift cards that are offered as the sweepstakes prizes.
Now’s the time to support your local small businesses, and you could win a $150 gift card to your favourite local Prince Rupert business!
Post a photo of how you’re supporting local businesses right now, either through purchasing for delivery or pickup, ordering takeout, or posting positive reviews, using #supportlocalpr. Tag us and the business, and you’ll be entered to win! We’ll be drawing a new winner every week. The first winner will be drawn on Friday, May 22nd, so stay tuned!
This contest is brought to you by Tourism Prince Rupert, the Prince Rupert & District Chamber of Commerce, and Love Prince Rupert, so make sure to tag us in your Small Business Love posts!

Reminder: Stay Local for Now!

Though some recreational facilities will begin to reopen in mid-May, the provincial health authority is still recommending that all non-essential travel outside of your home community be postponed. Please stay within your home community and do not travel to recreation properties or other communities for leisure.

BC residents are reminded that they shouldn’t plan to travel to other communities at this time, nor should road trips to other communities be planned during Phase 2. Once provincial health officials see further evidence that the curve has flattened, they will start to look at allowing more regional travel.

Beginning on May 14, 2020, those BC Parks, recreation sites and trails that can accommodate physical distancing re-opened for day use. This includes day-use sites and protected areas.

Parks and recreation sites that can safely provide existing service levels, such as garbage disposal and washroom facilities, will do so. These facilities will be cleaned more frequently.

Click here to read the complete plan.

Some areas and facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres. Check for the most up to date information.

Camping at provincial parks and recreation sites will reopen beginning June 1, 2020 with some exceptions. will carry information about the status of camping in provincial parks.

B.C. is currently entering Phase 2 of the Restart Plan, which includes:
  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.

Honourable Mélanie Joly
Message to Tourism Industry

The COVID‑19 pandemic has resulted in an incredible amount of uncertainty for Canadians in all corners of our country. While only months ago, we were all looking forward to another record‑breaking year, global travel and tourism have now been disrupted like never before. For the 1.8 million Canadians whose livelihoods depend on tourism—including many of you—this situation has understandably caused serious anxiety about what the future may hold... Read the entire message.

Minister Beare Responds to Tourism
& Hospitality Recommendations

The Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Hon. Lisa Beare responded earlier this month by highlighting the first phase of the Province's COVID-19 Action Plan, which provides $5B in income supports, tax relief, and direct funding for people, businesses, and services. Several measures respond directly to the recommendations put forward by industry, including:
  • Deferring payment and extending filing deadlines for taxes such as the Employer Health Tax
  • Waiving electricity use charges for eligible businesses through BC Hydro’s Relief Fund
  • Allowing restaurants and pubs to sell liquor products with take-away and pick-up orders.
  • Helping workers in the tourism sector find employment in other industries, such as agriculture, through a partnership with go2HR.

Upcoming Destination BC Webinars

Destination BC is hosting a series of webinars to support BC’s tourism industry on the road to recovery. This series supports response, recovery, and resilience from COVID-19.

Managing Expectations and Reputation through Effective Communication
Speaker: Daniel Craig, Reknown
Thursday, May 21 @ 2:00 pm PT (60 minutes)

Using Social Media to Support Re-opening
Speaker: Conner Galway, Junction Consulting
Tuesday, May 26 @ 2:00 pm PT (60 minutes)

Building a Digital Marketing Strategy for Re-opening
Speaker: Conner Galway, Junction Consulting
Thursday, May 28 @ 2:00 pm PT (60 minutes)

Watch the recording of the first webinar in the series, from May 12th:

Learn more at:
For up to date information on the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in British Columbia, please visit
Tourism Prince Rupert will be working hard to provide you with email updates regarding any new advisories or support programs as they are announced.

Please note we are only providing new information each week. For access to our past newsletters, please visit our Newsletter Archive page.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Ceilidh Marlow
Executive Director, Tourism Prince Rupert
Phone: 778-361-0440
Copyright © 2020 Tourism Prince Rupert, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.